wherever the corpse is there the vultures will gather

The Greek that is translated as “wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” or similar in English is translated in Mairasi a lot more specific as “if you see the mother of flocks of corpse-eating birds, Long-tailed Buzzard, Grey-faced Buzzard, White-breasted sea Eagle, or Brahminy Kite, then there is something dead and rotting, a dead person’s body, or a dead wilderness animal is over there.” (Aij ner nenem naa, tuao, iamba, sende fut namba in netomwan andani, orom umburu joet tan, nere neavo, sas warenar joetnyaa fovar atat.)

In Tangoa, a cultural substitute is used: “When you see the flying foxes flying to one location, you know that there is a ripe mango tree there” (Vara ko hite na karai la lo avu vano hin te jara, o pa levosahia vara te pahai mo mena atu.). A footnote explains in that translation that “when the last days come close, and people see all these things happening, they can be sure that it won’t be long before the Son of Man appears on the earth.” (Source: Ross McKerras)